Foreign trade deficit shrinks by 14.2 percent year-on-year, dropping to $4.7 billion from $5.5 billion, says Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.
Turkey's exports have registered an all-time high March figure at $18.98 billion, the country's trade minister said.
In March, the country's exports rose 42.2 percent year-on-year, Ruhsar Pekcan said.
On the imports side, the figure was $23.6 billion in March, rising by 25.8 percent compared to the same month last year, according to Pekcan.
"Thus, Turkey's foreign trade deficit shrank 14.2 percent on an annual basis, dropping to $4.7 billion from $5.5 billion in March," she said.
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The export-to-import coverage ratio was 80.2 percent this March, Pekcan added.
The trade minister also said Turkish exports were up 17.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, hitting an all-time high quarterly figure of $50 billion.
Imports amounted to $61 billion during the same period, up 9.7percent, though the foreign trade deficit was down 15.2 percent from the first quarter last year, registering an $11 billion decline, she said.
Pekcan underlined that despite the pandemic, Turkey's foreign trade painted a very positive picture adding: "Our success in exports in March and the first quarter of the year is also an indicator and guarantee of success in the coming period."
Automotive industry tops in exports
Several sectors, including chemical products, electric-electronics, textiles and raw materials, posted the strongest performance last month, said Ismail Gulle, head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly.
Detailing last month's export figures, Gulle noted that the automotive industry continued to be Turkey's leading exporter with $2.9 billion in March, followed by chemical products with $2 billion and ready-made garments and apparel with $1.7 billion, he added.
Germany, the EU's largest economy, imported the most Turkish goods in March, for a total of $1.7 billion. The US followed, receiving $1.2 billion in Turkish products.
Turkey's exports rose the most to the United Arab Emirates and Italy, which imported $535 million and $439 million worth of goods, respectively.
The total number of exporting firms increased by 1,339 in March, Gulle said, adding that these companies had realized $62.4 million worth of exports during the month.
Pointing out the positive effects of the recent uptick in the euro-dollar parity on Turkey's exports, he said this led to an increase of $572 million in the March figures.
"The positive outlook in the euro-dollar parity is expected to continue in the coming months," Gulle said, adding that since the beginning of the year, the parity had had an impact of $1.6 billion on exports.